Sunday, July 29, 2012

Some Paintings

For three weeks now, my art table has been covered with pastels, colored pencils, paint, my sketchbook, collage bits... I admit, I kind of what to sew something, but I have no place to do it. The table has been completely given over to Pages and Paint for the duration, so I can work on things in ten-minute increments if need be. Last week we moved out of the sketchbook and onto gessobords, which are pretty cool but unfortunately I can't find them locally. The ones I'm using here are 6x6 inches. (I can find really big, deeply cradled, $30 and up gessobords locally. Not so helpful!)

So last week we started off with a two-minute prompt game, which is also in Sarah's book. The idea is to help you approach a blank page, canvas, board, whatever--to start making a mark. All the prompts go into a bowl, you pull one out, set the timer (I used my new cell phone!) for two minutes, do what it says, and then repeat with another prompt. I struggled with this. Firstly, I am usually pretty loose when I go down there, because it's all play for me. It's not my job, and I approach this for what it is--fun--like I do with my kids. But this game seemed to shut that off. I think it was a combination of the timer, the precise directions, and the fact that some of the prompts just don't apply to me. Paint with a color I don't like? That one stumped me. And some of my favorite loose activities to do weren't included. The prompts are things that specifically work for Sarah, I'm guessing, and some worked for me and some didn't. I think I will use this "game" in the future when I need an entry point, but I will replace some of the prompts and add in some things I need to work on (leaving white space!) and some things I really enjoy (printing with found materials).

But anyway, this is the first "game" piece that I did.

"The Evolution of Useful Things"

I didn't add anything to this when I was finished "playing." Goodness, it's pretty full as it is.

This is another of the game pieces, but I added in a few more collage materials afterwards (which was a bonus assignment this week). I wasn't sure about this one at first, but it's growing on me.

"When Good is Better Than Best"
I think those gear-looking circles were added later too. I was trying to see how different pencil-type things would write over paint, and I did those with a graphite block, which worked much better than a regular pencil. Then right before I added in some of the extra collage pieces I went over the graphite with yellow oil pastel.

This last one was not a game piece. I wanted to incorporate a sketch I made of my daughter playing on the beach, and this is the result.

"A Day at the Beach"
I am still working on using collage materials--it just doesn't come naturally to me to layer in these different components, but I'm trying. In this one, the sails, bucket, sea shell, and the number "3" (my daughter's age, and what she calls "my number") are collaged in.

I am thinking I will have knitting to share in my next post. Meanwhile, I am managing to do some sort of art-making every day. Somebody mentioned in the class discussion group that it supposedly takes three weeks to set a habit, and we're there! That is an excellent thing, the habit of daily art-making, and one of the hoped-for results when I signed up for the class.


lamina@do a bit said...

Looks like you are having heaps of fun! The games sounds like a great way to think outside your comfort zone! I think your paintings look fab and I really love the last one... gorgeous :)

Donna Lee said...

That's an interesting point, that the game prompts work for the author but not maybe for everyone. I think you have to give yourelf permission to use what works and discard the rest for later. This would be a big step for me. I could never allow myself to skip a short story in a collection even if I didn't like it. I'd feel obligated to finish it before I moved onto the next one. I'm slowly growing out of that but it still wrenches just a bit.

Bells said...

i love the beach one - just lovely!

I've used those sorts of exercises with writing and it's often been helpful. The guided ones are for picking and choosing what works for you, as you say. Entry points only, but useful.

Karen Isaacson said...

what great results from the exercises. sometimes a prompt can push me to do something new and exciting, other times it just leaves me cold. but I figure even when that happens I'm learning something. it can be as important to figure out what we don't like as what we do like

Michelle said...

Yay for the new habit! That's the best part of all, right? I need more daily creativity. I'm writing regularly, but it's a different kind of writing and not feeling those creative holes. Plus,there'S something magical and fueling about working in an art form outside your normal mode. Delicious muse food.

I love how each piece has its own personality. very cool.

amy said...

@Bells, yes, I've done similar stuff with writing, too. It actually reminded me of a visual version of writing prompts.

@Karen, yes! JUST as important to learn what we don't like or what isn't working. I made myself do everything I pulled out--I even tried to find a color I didn't like by mixing everything on the palette together but ended up with that drab green I used for the swirl in the first piece I posted, and I like that drab green. I can't help it, I love color. :) Even when the first prompt was "paint with white paint" onto the white board, I did that too, figuring it would be interesting to see what happened with the next prompt on top of the wet white paint. After playing four times, I gave myself permission to play in other ways/rewrite some prompts for the future.

@Michelle, I think you need to get some paint and just play. :)

@Donna Lee, that short story thing? I've done that too!